Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Feds Seize 200 Marijuana Legalization Petition Signatures in WA

In a series of raids this week, a federally funded drug task force seized up to 200 petition signatures for marijuana legalization in Washington State from Sensible Washington, a group that is leading the way to let Washington State residents vote on legalization on the November ballot. Seizing the petition signatures wasn't as bad as what the task force did during its raids of a marijuana dispensary and its owner's home.

SSDP's friends at Firedoglake have set up a their own petition to get the signatures back.
Drug agents handcuffed a 14-year-old boy and pointed a gun at his head. Then they took $80 from a 9-year-old girl's Minnie Mouse wallet that she earned for straight A's on her report card.

Now the drug agents - funded by the US Department of Justice - say they can only find two pages of the petition. But they had time to make photocopies of the petition, keeping the names and addresses of residents who signed.
The purpose of this raid is to deter other citizens from signing the petition. These residents are now in fear of having their names and addresses exposed to a drug task force. Our tax dollars are paying for this intimidation. That's why it's important to speak out about this gross violation of our first amendment rights.
The petitions were seized from Sensible Washington, a group SSDP's Washington state chapters are working with to help end marijuana prohibition in the state. 

In an update from Sensible Washington
Two of the seized petitions will be returned to us promptly, according to a WestNET detective I spoke with earlier this morning. They will be picked up by our Bremerton coordinator from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office evidence room, likely before the end of today.

These two petitions have been photocopied and I have asked WestNET to destroy those photocopies. They tell me they cannot without an agreement between the prosecution and defense because, well, that’s the way these things work. We will be working to make that agreement happen, but it will take some time. My sense of things, from talking with the WestNET detective, is that no one on the law enforcement side will oppose the destruction of those photocopies.